Today has been an interesting day in the pastorate. As I get ready to celebrate the birth of Christ, I am reminded of how God leads and guides us. Perhaps I am more sensitive, or realizing what is truly important, but the Christmas message of Immanuel brings us always to the heart of the matter. A quick glance at the day may help:
I began the day with our staff sharing how a person in the church gave a very generous gift to help a family in need. In addition, I tell how the Annual CROP Walk raised $14,000.00 to alleviate hunger. Lastly, I note how a blogger 'out there' accuses the United Methodist Church of being socialist in wanting to advocate the passing of the Dream Act. There is a sermon somewhere here! We then take time to prepare for our worship services.
Around noon we as a staff have a lunch together, provided by Kira's Cottage, a local Christian Bookstore.
After lunch Pastor Jenothy and I make a visit to a young man in the church who has cancer. We have prayer and anointing and ask God's Spirit to abide with him and the members of this family as they go through a very difficult time. We were reminded once again of God's presence and purpose.
In returning to the church I receive a phone call from a member who can finally begin playing Christmas Carols after losing her husband six years ago in December. The grief has been too much. However, today was a breakthrough. Praise God!
After the phone call I am summoned to the front of the church to help a grandmother who doesn't have anything to give her grandchildren for Christmas. I remember we have some toys left over from the Santa Shop. We go through the boxes and see what kind of gift she wants to give. Thankfully, we are able to help.
I then take time to compose a prayer for Christmas Eve!
As a pastor I am humbled by these experiences and realize again that somehow in the midst of the ebb and flow of life God is with us.
In preparing for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I take a moment to catch my breath, realizing God has come. May we all be ready to receive!